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Everyone has a certain prim and proper idea in their head of what a night out at an orchestral performance entails. San Francisco-based collaborative chamber orchestra One Found Sound has been challenging these notions from their outset, bringing their work to unconventional spaces and engaging diverse audiences.
Recently, One Found Sound announced that they will be capping off another successful season with the multi-sensory experience, LUX. The one-of-a-kind event will feature a performance by One Found Sound along with stunning visuals by Symmetry Labs‘ Sugar Cubes. Gala guests will also be treated to tapas-style food by chef Tim Luym, an open bar, and an afterparty hosted by a special guest DJ (TBA).
Ahead of the unique staging of LUX, we sent One Found Sound some interview questions to find out more about who they are and where they’re going. Check out the responses below and be sure to buy your tickets for LUX set to go down at Heron Arts in San Francisco on Saturday, April 29th here.
Hi, One Found Sound! Congrats on approaching the end of another successful season. Can you tell us a little more on who you are and what your mission is?
Thank you! One Found Sound is a collaborative, conductorless, chamber orchestra based in San Francisco. Our concerts are less like a traditional classical music concert and more like a classical music party! We play standing, and without a stage – close enough to the audience that some of them could even read the music right off the first violin stand!
We invite audiences to clap, drink, take a picture, laugh, and be as comfortable as possible. The energy of our audience is the most important part of our shows – the exchange of energy between audience and performers is why we do what we do.
How did the idea for LUX first come about and how did you approach your collaborators?
The idea for the collaboration with Symmetry Labs actually came about a couple of years ago at the end of our second season. We met Alex Green and toyed around with the idea of the Sugar Cubes being a part of our gala that season but it didn’t end up working out. So we put the idea in our back pocket and finally this season we were able to plan it and put it together!
It’s great because I think one of the first locations the Sugar Cubes lived in was actually the venue we’re performing in this time around. And our guest chef actually became a fan after attending one of our chamber shows and we just connected with him afterwards and set things in motion!
Your process for picking pieces to play is fairly democratic. Have you settled on what you’re playing for the gala? And what does that process look like?
Yes! The process for picking repertoire is 100% democratic amongst the musicians of the orchestra. We sent them the theme of the gala and everyone sent in suggestions of music they thought would work well with the group and the theme. Then we compile a grand list and send out an electronic survey to all the musicians. The top pieces are the ones we play!
I think the piece that got the most votes this year was John Adams “Shaker Loops”. It’s a beautiful piece and I think it will have a really great effect with the Cubes. Some other pieces you’ll hear at this year’s event are selections from Haydn, Rossini, Thomas Tallis, Eric Whitacre, and Beethoven. It should be some really great music, especially paired with the Sugar Cubes.
One Found Sound works to reach to audiences that may have never engaged with chamber music before. Ideally, how would you like to continue to grow past this gala?
I think we would like to continue to expand our brand of music making. We have some exciting outreach programs in the works that aim to bring what we do to young people and others who may not have access to classical music.
Do you already or would you like to expand towards performing for younger students in schools?
Yes always! This past season we did a two-week residency with San Francisco State University where we had the opportunity to work with the students there and perform with them on a side by side concert. And as I said before we are working on some exciting educational programs, including some collaborations coming up next season, so be on the lookout for that!
The curatorial elements of LUX are not unlike bigger music festivals you see today. Do you ever think about staging something of that nature down the line?
Yes, we do. I think that’s another way we’d like to see One Found Sound expand. Doing more collaborations with other artists and art forms – and trying to grow our audience as much as possible.
Any new San Francisco-based artists/venues/purveyors of the arts you could turn our readers onto?
I think the main place we advocate for the most is the space where we regularly perform, Heron Arts. It’s primarily an art gallery, and they really have some exciting events and shows going on there all the time.
For example, at the OFS performance in February, there was a giant “cake house” in the middle of the performance area that was part of an installation that was occurring called “Cakeland”. They also do events like block parties and release parties for new technology. They’re great and we definitely recommend them!
Where can we follow you and where can our Bay Area-based readers get tickets for the gala?
Any parting thoughts? Open platform!
We think it’s so important to spread the world of classical music to everyone, and we hope that our concerts can demonstrate that classical music is alive and relevant and fun!
Classical music is not boring or elite – it’s for the people and we are on a mission to prove it. Our concerts are engaging and lively, the community is amazing, and we think most of the people who attend would agree with us.
We hope all your readers will have the opportunity to experience a One Found Sound event some day!